Looking to bring nature’s beauty inside even after growing season has passed? We first shared the idea for transforming clear ornaments with dried flowers in 2013. But with increasingly popular trends leaning towards botanicals and simple living, we thought it was worth exploring even more dried-flower decorating ideas to incorporate the beauty of nature in your home, year-round!
How To Dry Flowers
In traditional drying method, flowers hang upside down in a warm, dark area so that air wicks away moisture gradually and flowers are better able to keep their shape. This process can take weeks, depending on your climate.
Alternatively, you may quicken the process with flash drying methods. There are a number of ways to do this:
- Microwave. However, it is important to note that this process does require special supplies.
- Oven. On the lowest temp setting. This process requires a good part of the day and close supervision.
- Car trunk. Climate will play an important factor in the efficiency of this method.
- Silica gel crystals.
Which Flowers Are Best For Drying?
We sought out the expertise of Cass Street Decor proprietor and floral designer, Tracie Kuck to learn about which flowers are best for drying.
Tracie shares that flowers with a more-dense petal count are best for drying because they are better at holding their shape when dried. Consideration should also be given to color, as the pigment of flowers naturally changes over time, especially in the drying process. (You’ll often find, for example, that white flowers will brown.) For that reason, it’s best to choose flowers with a darker or brighter pigmentation.
Tracie’s list for larger flowers that are best for drying include:
- Cone flower
- Dianthus (carnation family)
- Eucalyptus (Seeded, Gunny, Silver Dollar, Baby, etc.)
- Bunny Tails (Lagurus ovatus)
- Rice flower
For smaller florals, Tracie recommends:
- Spray Roses
- Chamelaucium (also known as wax flower)
- Dianthus (carnation family)
- Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, etc)
Since dried flowers become brittle, they can be tricky (and messy!) to work with. One way to plan ahead is to bundle the flowers together, as you’ll want them in your project, before allowing them to hang dry. As a result, you’ll save yourself the trouble of separating out stems from dried flower groupings to arrange.
Tips For Working With Fresh Flowers
Conversely, if you are starting any of these dried flower decorating ideas by working, first, from fresh flowers, Tracie shares some points to consider:
- Choose wire that is coated. Chenille stems (pipe cleaner) or binding wire for example, available at most crafting supply stores, will grip best. Uncoated wire may slide.
- As flowers dry, they lose their fullness. Making sure wire is twisted taut is key.
- And consequent to shrinkage, you will find that gaps result as flowers dry. For this reason it is important to keep this in mind as you are arranging the fresh flowers to dry. Include fillers and greenery that will hold their volume in the drying process.
- Greenery such as Eucalyptus and Myrtle, tend to dry without “shrinking”. While some greenery, such as those in the Fern family, tend to curl up and are better used when pressed.
- Work in layers by grouping just a few flowers together at a time (rather than bundling a whole bouquet.) … Again, another useful trick from Tracie we learned to be true!
- Don’t be afraid to pull off a few petals or leaves as fit.
Tracie’s Pro Tip: You can use floral wire to help hold fresh flowers upright in your decorating projects. See how to wire fresh flowers here.
Dried Flower Decorating Ideas
Looking to add touches of nature’s beauty in your décor?! On deck are just a few dried flower decorating ideas we’re pretty excited about!
DECORATING TIP: Mix fresh and artificial florals together, as we did in our marigold, Egyptian glass vase!
Dried Flowers Dress Up An Ornament Stand With Lasting Beauty
Adding foraged flowers or a store-bought bouquet is a great way to dress up an ordinary ornament stand. Additionally it will showcase your special keepsake with even more beauty!
Consider, even, using flowers from a bereavement bouquet with a memorial ornament for your loved one.
Tracie’s Flower Arrangement Ornament Stand Tips:
Tracie demonstrates how to transform Bronner’s 9″ brass butterfly ornament stand (1184519) in this video tutorial:
DRIED FLOWER ORNAMENT STAND HOW-TO
Working in layers:
- BUNDLE small groupings of flowers together on your ornament stand, starting from the top down*. Use coated floral wire, twisted taut, for a secure hold.
- TRIM flower stems to desired length.
- TIE a piece of ribbon around the stems for a finishing touch.
- HANG the stand upside down until flowers have dried and set before using.
*NOTE: Flowers will make the stand off balanced on its own, especially while fresh. As flowers dry and lose their moisture, they will lighten. Your ornament will also help to balance the weight of the bouquet.
DRIED FLOWER DECORATING TIP: Protect your dried flowers and ornament from dust and breakage by displaying in a cloche.
Preserving Your Wedding Bouquet
Looking to enjoy your wedding bouquet a little longer without the expensive cost of professional preservation? Here’s an idea we think you’ll love!
Our Douglas Blue artificial wreath (1209468) is a perfect canvas for wedding flowers and pairs beautifully with Bronner’s “From This Day Forward I Do” wedding window frame (1213745), which is proudly made in the USA. The wedding keepsake also features 36 warm white, battery operated LED lights (1172509) with timer and motion options and our 6′ smoky blue garland (1215677) – which was banded around the wedding bouquet for the special day!
How To Make A Dried Flower Wreath Wedding Keepsake:
Tracie shows you how to create this dried flower wedding keepsake from a fresh bridal bouquet with a video tutorial:
Embroidery Hoop Dried Flower Wreath
There are many takes on designing an embroidery hoop with dried flowers. But one simple way to take them to the next level is by adding a beautiful clip on bird ornament. Alternatively, you could suspend spun glass birds from the top of the hoop on fishline to appear as though they are hovering above!
Another variation that will add a little more dimension and texture to this dainty décor is to create a twine ball for suspending within the hoops the center. With your flowers or ribbons laid out just right, you could even add battery operated micro LED lights for a warm glow.
Our special thanks to Tracie Kuck of Cass Street Decor for sharing her expertise!
We hope this post will inspire you to enjoy foraging this summer and get creative with your décor!
Have a question or more ideas? Drop it in the comments below!
Meet Tracie Kuck Of Cass Street Decor
“I love what I do! I’ve been in the floral industry for over 25 years and doing Interior design consulting for 15. I love a project – dissecting it, molding it and breathing life into it. I love being able to transform a room and create an atmosphere that perfectly fits my client. The perfect lamp, art, mirror or accent piece. I love fresh flowers! Ranunculus, Sunflowers, Peonies, Tulips, Sea Holly, Hydrangeas, Carnations…….yep, I admit it, I love the variety of colors they have, and banked or grouped together in an arrangement, pretty fabulous. I love permanent botanicals! I’m a bit of a flower snob, if it’s artificial it must look real! I love to create any type of floral piece, for a table, a funeral, weddings, just because, any and all of it.”